The only times it makes sense to wait for the other side to make an offer, Neale says, is when you have information that gives you significant advantage in the bargaining or “when you honestly believe that the other side dramatically values the object of the exchange at a much higher rate than you do.”
In other words, if the vendor clearly is interested in “buying the business” for strategic or other reasons, then it may make sense to let them come in with the first offer on price and terms.
Perhaps surprisingly, Neale also says the idea of the “poker-faced,” unemotional buyer is also not necessarily the right strategy. She said that “People don’t usually think we use emotions strategically.” Emotions can be powerful pieces of information, she added, citing a recent study that showed that in many cases negotiators who displayed anger during the process created more value than those who were unemotional.
As a buyer, when should you make the first offer? Or do you always wait for the vendor to come back with a price first? Have you intentionally used emotions or “anger” as a negotiating strategy? Let us know your thoughts at the feedback button below.